Adoption Competent Counseling

Adoption is a life-long process that impacts all involved over the course of their entire lives. The good news is that generations of adult adoptees and their families have taught us much about their struggles. As a result, there are now abundant services for adopted children, which produce many success stories! Talking about adoption has become common and the language of adoption is becoming more respectful and caring.

The adoption triad is generally considered to be birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptive child. Surrounding that triad is a larger circle of those who are impacted by an adoption, including extended family such as grandparents, aunts/uncles, and siblings. We call this the Adoption Kinship Network.

The dynamics of adoption are complex. Some of the core issues in adoption are loss, rejection, shifting family systems, bonding, attachment, guilt, shame, and identity formation. Those touched by adoption are profoundly affected.

Parents of adoptive children may struggle with issues relating to supporting their child’s identity formation. They may also have problems discussing sensitive topics relating to the nature of their relinquishment, involving issues like abandonment, abuse, mental illness, and drug addiction.

Adoption can sometimes be a second choice because of infertility, but that doesn’t mean it is second best. Adoptive parents or parents in the process of adoption after infertility can benefit from therapy to help resolve these complex emotions.

My counseling approach for those affected by adoption includes a core belief that attachment can happen for any child, including those who have experienced abuse, neglect and multiple placements.I have a deep respect for the adoption triad and the entire adoption-kinship network, and can help you navigate the impacts of adoption for everyone involved. I offer optimism, patience, and the capacity to understand, explain, and tolerate intensely conflicting emotions.